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Coretta Scott King is Dead at 78

CorettaIn addition to being a tireless, outspoken symbol of the civil rights movement and a human rights advocate who carried on her husband's message long after his death, Coretta Scott King also made many specific statements about the struggles of gays and lesbians, and advocated launching a national campaign against homophobia in the black community.

Here are a few of her powerful statements in support of gays and lesbians:

road.jpg "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people." — March 30, 1998

road.jpg "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group." — at the 25th Anniversary Luncheon for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, April 1, 1998.

Coretta_2road.jpg "For many years now, I have been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people. Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Ga. and St. Augustine, Fla., and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions." — at the 25th Anniversary Luncheon for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, April 1, 1998.

road.jpg "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."

road.jpg "We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination." — November 9, 2000

Coretta Scott King, 78, Widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dies [nyt]

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Comments

  1. Yes,

    She was A PILLAR.

    Posted by: Gilli | Jan 31, 2006 9:35:47 AM


  2. A great loss for the world and civil rights...but didnt she look great? Does anyone know if she had work done? My friend says it's because 'black don't crack'(and yes he IS African American)

    Posted by: Matthew Schooler | Jan 31, 2006 9:37:17 AM


  3. Andy, you get a little donation today for recognizing how much this great lady meant to gay people -- especially when the GOP-paid black churches are subverting the work of Dr. King.

    I am trying to remember something...Patti LaBelle was on one of those Apollo all-star TV specials in the late 80s sometime, Mrs. King was guest of honor. Patti walked right up to the lip of the stage where Mrs. King's box was and addressed directly to her an amazing, emotional performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone." It was unforgettable, and so appropriate to the moment...but now I can't remember the specifics of the date or the event...Does anyone remember what TV special this was?

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 31, 2006 9:46:56 AM


  4. We are a better people for knowing her.

    Posted by: Ladd | Jan 31, 2006 10:05:46 AM


  5. Brian,
    Will see if something's on the net...
    ~~~
    Matthew,
    'Black Don't Crack' is always a great blanket statement =). Of course, like all blanket statements, it's not always true.

    Posted by: Gilli | Jan 31, 2006 10:06:58 AM


  6. What a gracious, classy, and strong lady. I will miss her calm voice of inclusion amid all the shouting of others.

    Who was it who said that the strongest voice is often the quietest?

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 31, 2006 10:18:01 AM


  7. I had the honor to meet her and her father in law (Daddy King) during the 1980 Carter campaign. Truly a great person who lived her life with honor and dignity.

    This is a better country because Mrs. King continued to honor her husbands legacy with great passion, honesty and grace.

    She will be missed by many, but now she is at peace and can rest.

    Posted by: Donald | Jan 31, 2006 10:23:04 AM


  8. EXCELLENT POST! I had no idea about these quotes. Thank you!

    Posted by: xolondon | Jan 31, 2006 10:28:05 AM


  9. Thank you for assembling those marvelous quotes, Andy. Regretfully, the combination of being more shy than her husband and, one assumes, health problems as she grew older, kept her--through no fault of her own--from silencing, or at least muffling the sound of, the screaming homophobes in the Black community. Now, alas, it would appear that the King heir who will get the most attention vis-a-vis gay civil rights is her homophobic daughter. And speaking of sick minds, I do not say this because we have differed about issues relative to BBM, but that you could bring up whether or not she'd had "work done," Matthew, and drop "Black don't crack" [regardless of the race of your source] into a string about her passing, is reptilian. A noble, gracious, inimitable historical icon has passed and you still slither through the vile dust from which you sprung. Now I weep.

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 31, 2006 11:13:28 AM


  10. I saw her speak at a conference in Atlanta and - unlike any other conference speaker I have ever seen - no one chatted, no one walked out because their attention failed to be engaged. She was electric.

    RIP Coretta Scott King. I wish you had 20 more years and the health and strength to lead.

    Posted by: david | Jan 31, 2006 11:51:43 AM


  11. Leland,
    Your poetry is so beautiful...

    Posted by: Gilli | Jan 31, 2006 12:25:18 PM


  12. She banged a minister and became famous for it,sat by while he slept around, and raised a homophobic daughter! A historic figure indeed!

    Hey Leland what did you say when R Reagan died? Only good things I am sure.

    Gotta slither!

    Posted by: Matthew Schooler | Jan 31, 2006 12:56:31 PM


  13. Boy Matthew, your a petty and cruel person. Please go and get help and jump off a bridge cause this world doesn't need people like you. And I can't help but to wonder if your Mitch's alterego. Can his IP number be checked?

    Posted by: Damon | Jan 31, 2006 1:29:21 PM


  14. Matthew,

    Are you saying that standing by your man is now a bad thing? We don't know what kind of private hell Coretta may have gone through, probably begging her hubby to stop cheating, knowing it was all for naught. Women didn't just "up and leave" back then, just like gays didn't just come out.

    Don't most of the "greats", "legends", have some controversy in their past? Bill Clinton is viewed--even by Republicans--as the best politician alive. Just as much so now while he quietly makes his wife president. Now, you know why Hilary stood by her man.

    Being homophobic can come back to, uh, bite you in the butt. Look at the obvious examples like Dick Cheney and Alan Keyes. And, that minister who just had to resign, the one who happened to want sex with a man.

    Matthew, why the HELL are we even talking about ANY of this? When you die, don't you want some time to be allowed to rest in peace??

    COME ON!!

    Posted by: Gilli | Jan 31, 2006 1:46:27 PM


  15. Matthew,

    Are you saying that standing by your man is now a bad thing? We don't know what kind of private hell Coretta may have gone through, probably begging her hubby to stop cheating, knowing it was all for naught. Women didn't just "up and leave" back then, just like gays didn't just come out.

    Don't most of the "greats", "legends", have some controversy in their past? Bill Clinton is viewed--even by Republicans--as the best politician alive. Just as much so now while he quietly makes his wife president. Now, you know why Hilary stood by her man.

    Being homophobic can come back to, uh, bite you in the butt. Look at the obvious examples like Dick Cheney and Alan Keyes. And, that minister who just had to resign, the one who happened to want sex with a man.

    Matthew, why the HELL are we even talking about ANY of this? When you die, don't you want some time to be allowed to rest in peace??

    COME ON!!

    Posted by: Gilli | Jan 31, 2006 1:47:13 PM


  16. Cruel and petty...followed by go jump off a bridge! Wow!
    Mrs. King was a good wife and mother. She was also good at preserving her husband's legacy

    Was she a historical icon? Probably not...

    Posted by: Matthew Schooler | Jan 31, 2006 5:13:39 PM


  17. Trust me Matthew, cruel, petty and telling you to jump off a bridge were the nicest things I could come up for you.

    Whether you disagreed with the previous posters or not, Mrs. King didn't deserve the scorn you gave her and anyone who isn't part of Stormfront knows that.

    Posted by: Damon | Jan 31, 2006 5:35:13 PM


  18. Stromfront?!?!? I’m a white racist now? I don't she was a great historical person. I think her husband was a great man with historical value.
    Yes I am sorry she is no longer alive. Any life is worth mourning (except maybe the life of a Muslim terrorist). I don’t think she would put herself in the same category as her husband. Why would you?

    Posted by: Matthew Schooler | Jan 31, 2006 7:04:04 PM


  19. I'm happy you caught the reference. I didn't say you were a white racist, I'm saying that your bitterness and disrespectful attitude could only be compared to a white racist. I don't get the rest of your post because its a contradiction of the original one I bitched about.

    And I don't even think Mr. King himself would put himself in the category that he was in.

    Posted by: Damon | Jan 31, 2006 7:16:11 PM


  20. I will always think of Coretta Scott King as an ANGEL.

    She was so regal and so brilliant, and a huge supporter of the gay community. I once met her long-time personal assistant, and was awed that she had chosen a gay, white man to be her personal assistant.

    I don't know that I have ever adored any one human as much as I adore Coretta Scott King. I have been crying all night with grief at our losing her.

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Jan 31, 2006 7:18:43 PM


  21. Matthew,

    I didn't tell you to jump off a bridge.

    I was trying to provide clarification then reminded myself that it wasn't important.

    An influential "first lady" has passed and we shd respect that instead of pretending that we don't all make mistakes.

    Posted by: Gilli | Jan 31, 2006 7:33:06 PM


  22. Coretta Scott King is an historical icon in her own right. Her leadership is widely credited during the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, and the only reason she isn't associated with it as much as her late husband, or as automatically as he, is due the backseat she was compelled to take at the time due to her own gender and race, and of course she was eclipsed caused by her own husband's assassination.

    Posted by: david | Jan 31, 2006 7:41:56 PM


  23. I said mourning a life is fine... but you insist on raising her up on a pedestal to saint hood....the greatest lady since the Virgin Mary! blah blah blah....she was a woman married to Dr MLK and she is now dead. End of story. She deserves to be mourned for that reason. No contradictions here. I dont mourn the way the rest of you do!

    Posted by: Matthew Schooler | Jan 31, 2006 8:04:22 PM


  24. Kudos to Coretta for throwing the RightNutGayBats off their Bush SOTU spinning if only for a moment.

    Too bad her son is a homophobe. I wonder if that bothered her.

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Jan 31, 2006 8:18:16 PM


  25. SOTU tonight...we are oil addicts and Iran is going nuclear! Hmmmm...sounds like we have heard this one before. I guess nobody believes it this time either. Ted Kennedy and Micheal Moore get out your bull horn! I smell Oscar for Michael!!!!

    Posted by: Matthew Schooler | Jan 31, 2006 9:01:20 PM


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